HAVERFORD, Pa. – After a remarkable 2018 campaign that resulted in a Centennial Conference championship and a fourth place finish at the NCAA National Championships, the Haverford men's cross country team is focused on steady improvement and development of a young corps of distance runners this season. With three All-America finishers (Ryan Herlihy, Greg Morgan, and Graham Peet) leaving to graduation, Haverford will look to identify the next group of impact makers across a challenging fall schedule.
With one of the largest rosters in program history, depth is certain to be a key for the 2019 edition of the program. On the national stage, the Haverford men have qualified as a team to the NCAA Championships during each of the last 26 years, including the afformentioned fourth-place finish in last season's meet in Winneconne, Wis. The Fords have placed in the top 10 a total of 19 times across their 36 all-time appearances, including 11 times in the past 15 years.
Haverford is predicted for yet another appearance at the national championships, as the squad is ranked No. 16 to begin the season, and is the third-ranked program in the first installment of the Mideast Regional rankings. In that grouping, Haverford trails only national No. 7 Carnegie Mellon and No. 10 Johns Hopkins. No. 33 Dickinson, ranked fifth in the region, is the other Centennial Conference team ranked in the preseason poll by the USTFCCCA. Haverford was also picked to repeat as Centennial Conference champions for the sixth consecutive season.
Haverford returns senior co-captain Sam McCalpin, an All-Mideast Region selection a season ago, as well as a two-time nationals participant looking to return to nationals in his hometown of Louisville, Ky. Senior David Watt joins sophomores Jamie Moreland and Peter Buckley as returners who appeared at NCAAs a season ago, with that invaluable experience certain to serve as a springboard into the 2019 campaign.
Seniors Conor Madden and senior co-captain Hiroshi Kawakatsu joined junior Matt Katz as Centennial Conference meet finishers that will look take another step forward this autumn. Incoming first years joining Haverford for the fall slate include Aaron Bratt, Caesar Dai, Charlie Ferguson, Seamus Flannery, Michael Franco, Kennedy Mutai, Ryan Kredell, Nathaniel Leighninger, Ryan Quenemoen, and Nick Scardigno. Also new to the squad is junior transfer Jack Fanikos.
The Fords will get to enjoy the friendly confines of the Alumni Cross Country course on three occasions this season, as the team gets the 2019 season underway at the Alumni Open (Sept. 7) before hosting the Main Line Invitational on September 20. The final regular season meet of the season is also slated for home, as the Fords host the Haverford Invitational on October 25.
This season's Centennial Conference Championships will be held at Gettysburg on Saturday, November 2 while the NCAA Mideast Regional is ticketed for Lehigh University on November 16. The NCAA Championship is slated for November 23 at Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky.